Ding Xu (丁旭), Yunnan University
In the context of Belt and Road initiatives (BRI), cross-border e-commerce has been reenergized and widened for enterprises longing for tapping the international market. Consequently, logistics serving for cross-border e-commerce is faced with challenges.
Logistics is always the obstacle of cross-border e-commerce’s development, which lacks self-contained complete system. In the meanwhile, logistics is indeed reshaped and upgraded by cross-border e-commerce. Actually, e-commerce logistics is a part of e-commerce transaction which often employs the third party logistics (3PL) company to achieve the function of physical distribution at the last link to the consumer. In this sense, they are promoting the development mutually.
This paper is intended to explore the issue neglected in literature but of utmost importance to a globalized economy: the relationship between the decrease of logistics cost and the improvement of cross-border e-commerce performance. While there has been latest research on cross-border e-commerce logistics, that research focused on large firms and the US border. In contrast, my focus is on cross-border e-commerce between Russia and China.
2.Development status of cross-border e-commerce in China
Government statistics show the total transaction scale of cross-border e-commerce was 5 trillion and 400 billion RMB in 2015, increasing up to 28.26% on year-on-year basis. Among them, the scale of cross-border exports reached 4 trillion and 490 billion RMB, and the import transactions reached 907 billion RMB. Take Russia as an example, it currently occupies the highest share of the country who is cross-border e-commerce supplier to China among countries along the BRI. In the first half of 2016, the Sino-Russian cross-border e-commerce trade volume was 1 billion 150 million dollars.
3.Logistics bottleneck has been a deep sorrow of cross-border e-commerce
It is no exaggeration to say that logistics cost including information flow, material handling, packaging, inventory, transportation and warehousing account for almost 50 percent in the total cost of Sino Russian cross-border e-commerce. Cross-border logistics involves many links, such as logistics, clearance and customer service at home and abroad. The longer the industrial chain of the cross-border logistics is, the higher the operating cost. Especially in the customs clearance, its huge operation risk directly affects the final pattern of the whole industry.
Construction of capital-intensive infrastructure is the basis of cost reduction producing very little effect. And it is difficult to implement it abroad. Nowadays, more and more enterprises turn attention to supply chain management and innovation of logistic technology, and made great progress. There have been some companies developed self-driving wagon, drone used to delivery package to perk up its cash flow.
4.Cross-border e-commerce shines bright in logistics upgrade
Because logistics demand is additional, it signifies that it depends on consumer’s demand in basic necessities of life. Cross-border e-commerce provides better satisfied method to meet these demands and preferences. Zeng Bibo (Cross-border e-commerce shines bright in logistics upgrade, 2017), chief executive officer of Ymatou, said “the BRI could speed up a series of processes in cross-border trade, including fund settlement and logistics”. It is because that the BRI could shorten the lead time in cross-border e-commerce; for example, fund settlement could recur to third-party payment platform, logistic could be more efficient with the help of information flow shared on the e-commerce platform.
Heilongjiang's cross-border e-commerce platform is a typical example. The overseas warehouse has solved the "last mile" problem in cross-border distribution. It not only has the advantage in the timeliness, but also has obvious advantages in the pricewise. Taking the example of delivering goods from Shenzhen, several years ago, we must go through the overland port in Heihe river or Suifen river, affording every kilogram of goods logistics costs 74 RMB to 76 RMB; now from the Harbin cargo airline, the cost per kilogram is about 44 RMB, decreased by about 40%, meanwhile lead time of arrival shorten to 1 weeks, speeding up the cash turnover rate. It not only owing to air freight, but the bonded warehouse is also indispensable.
With arrival of the economic integration and trade globalization, needs for corresponding logistics services supporting cross-border e-commerce is increasing. Cross-border e-commerce enterprises live in an increasingly rivalry market in which opportunity and risk are coexisting. On the one hand, logistics bottleneck has been a deep sorrow of cross-border e-commerce. On the other hand, cross-border e-commerce shines bright in logistics upgrade. Thus innovating new information technology, business models and services is beneficial for enterprises to reducing the cost of logistic and enhancing the supply chain management. Furthermore, the logistic will truly become the third profit resource of elevating the core competitive ability of the cross-border e-commerce.
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原文: The BRI could speed up a series of processes in cross-border trade, including fund settlement and logistics.
转写: The Road and Belt initiative could shorten the lead time in cross-border trade; for example, fund settlement could recur to third-party payment platform, logistic could be more efficient with the help of information flow Shared on the e-commerce platform.